Last fall, many NFL players took a knee on the field during the national anthem in protest of Trump’s policies after NFL player Colin Kaepernick sparked a movement the previous year by a taking a knee in order to protest police brutality of people of color. Mr. Trump then called for the NFL to “fire” players who take a knee, which sparked a huge debate and controversy about the issue across the country.
Since then, many people have followed the players’ lead in their own displays of protest. On Tuesday, a Connecticut town official opposed to Mr. Trump’s policies took a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance at a meeting filled with more than 100 people. At an already tense meeting, the town official’s display furthered the intense debate over protests and the First Amendment.
— Matt Austin (@mattaustinTV) July 30, 2018
According to the Associated Press:
‘Haddam Selectwoman Melissa Schlag faced jeers while she kneeled during the pledge on Monday and asked residents and politicians to not add words to her ‘‘silent protest.’’’
‘I appreciate everyone coming out because this is truly town government at its best. We need to continue the conversation or hate will continue to fester.’
One Haddam resident Marine Pablo Arroyo told Schlag she should protest on her own time, saying:
‘I am not here to disrespect you as you’ve done to my flag, my country.’
The Associated Press reported:
‘Vietnam veteran and town resident Bob Wallin, who supported Schlag’s right to protest, said no one has a right to tell her how and when to exercise free speech.
‘Before the meeting, about 100 people organized by Republican governor’s race candidate Tim Herbst and state Sen. Art Linares rallied in the town, which has about 8,000 residents, to call Schlag’s protest disrespectful. A crowd of about 75 rallied in a different part of town in support of Schlag’s protest.’
Schlag began kneeling earlier this month in protest of Mr. Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, and the Trump administration’s immigration policies. According to the AP:
‘Schlag said she has no plans to seek higher office. She said she has received harassment and threats over her protest and calls for her resignation.’
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
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